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Passion to ride

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Washington County duo outpacing the pack when it comes to riding the long roads

By Brandon Mattingly

 SPRINGFIELD — Two Washington County residents have found a way to turn their passions into a friendly competition with a little help from a Burgin-based business.

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You can likely find Sherrell Cornish and Bill Newton on the open road this time of year, as they share a love of motorcycles that goes beyond the elements and in fact, encourages them.

“I mow yards in the summertime, so I mostly ride in the winter,” Newton said. “Sherrell’s tougher than I am. He rides in the winter too, but I’ve got this heated outfit that I wear that plugs into the battery and gives you a little heat, so I guess he’s a little tougher than me.”

As Newton pointed out, their passion for being on a bike started a long time ago, but a mileage competition hosted by The Kickstand, a biker shop in Burgin added a little fun to it.

“I just love to ride. Even before we started this competition, I’ve just always loved to ride since I was a little boy,” Newton said. “Sherrell’s the one who told me about it. He asked if I’d ever entered and I said I didn’t know anything about it, so I went up there and entered it and here we are.”

The Kickstand’s annual mileage contest has now been held for six years, with the Washington County pair taking part in each of the last three. They’ve certainly made their mark as well — both  finished first and second in some order every year.

Newton was the top mileage producer in 2010 with a single-year record 55,092 miles ridden and followed that up with another first-place finish in 2011. Cornish, after placing second to Newton each of the first two years, posted the highest mark in 2012 with 36,661 miles to Newton’s 36,552. It was again a two-man race, as the closest competitor of the more than 40 other riders was third-place Lowell Roark of Winchester with 18,371 miles.

Winning matters little to Cornish and Newton, however, as the two just continue to do what they love.

“I don’t know how competitive it is. I think we just sign up every year and go and ride. There are no blood and guts or anything,” Newton said with a laugh. “We’re pretty good buddies. We just want to go out there and ride.”

Despite their success - or perhaps because of it - the men may decide to step away from the competition, at least for now.

“If Sherrell doesn’t do it, it’s not any fun,” Newton said. “He said he wasn’t going to sign up and let somebody else win it this year, but I don’t know if he did yet or not. It’s only fun if you know somebody else doing it I think.”

However, if you think that means Cornish and Newton are putting their bikes up this winter for good, you’d be mistaken.

“Oh, I’m going to ride forever,” Newton said. “I’m going to ride until I can’t ride a bike and then I’m going to get me a trike and just ride until I get to the grave.”

The Kickstand sponsors numerous events and contests throughout the year, and anyone can join the mileage competition that runs from October to October at any time.

To join the competition or for more information call The Kickstand at (859) 748-KICK (5425) or email SeeYou@TheKickstandLLC.com.